Paycheck Chronicles

Coupons, Coupons, Everywhere


Aaauugghh...I am drowning in coupons.  Grocery store coupons, coupons from Sunday advertisements, ValPak coupons, local area coupon magazines, mailers from retailers.  It has gotten completely out of control and it is making me crazy.  Not only is it contributing to the clutter in my home but the coupons aren't always available when I want them.

I'm wondering if any of you have any suggestions for corralling these wayward snippets of savings.

I'll tell you my current strategy and please, please, suggest improvements.  First, I have a drawer in my dining room buffet that houses all the coupon inserts from the Sunday newspapers.  Since I've started using the internet to plan my coupon usage, it is better to keep them intact.  That is working pretty well for me, except that I haven't yet found a site that matches up coupons with commissary sales.  (I bet there is one out there, I just haven't found it.)  Then there are the advertisement coupons.  They usually sit in a stack on my desk dining room table, or float around homeless.  I occasionally put them in the coupon drawer but then it gets all messy in there.  Then there are the things that come in the mail.  I usually add them to my "to do" pile, but the pile is completely unmanageable and they are often misplaced or I forget about them.  Then, there is the glove box of my car.  There I keep all gift cards plus restaurant birthday club meal cards and anything else that is basically restaurant related (unless it gets sucked into the pile of miscellany first.)  This works well as long as I'm driving my car.  It is utterly useless if I'm driving my husband's car and haven't planned completely.

In the past, we had a filing cabinet in the dining room.  The first file was for all this stuff that is currently homeless.  It was usually pretty big and required periodic purges but it basically worked.  Perhaps I could clear out another drawer in the buffet for these other coupons.  (Pizza, oil change, craft store, etc.)  We also have a few of those bins in our Pottery Barn style wall unit but they tend to house kids papers that need to be returned to their homes.  They're probably not a particularly good choice for this purpose.

One side of me says, "Oh, just throw them all out," but I know that I save a lot of money using these coupons.  (Just yesterday, I saved $25 on holiday shopping because I could put my hands on the right slip of paper.)

I'm sure I'm not the only person who struggles with this problem.  I put this out to my readers...any suggestions?  We'd all appreciate it.

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